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Industry faces tough new HFC phase down

EUROPE: The HVACR industry faces a tough new HFC phase down timetable and earlier product bans in new F-gas regulation revision proposals voted through by MEPs today.

With one or two exceptions, this morning’s European parliamentary vote saw the ENVI committee proposals led by rapporteur Bas Eickhout largely adopted by MEPs. The majority of the late amendments tabled by Central and Eastern European member states and backed by an alliance of 14 leading European and global industry associations, were struck down.

A small amount of breathing space was gained, however, in respect of product bans and a proposal that would have seen bans on spare parts for those products was overturned by a subsequent amendment.

Industry efforts to ease the proposed phase down timetable were unsuccessful. The ENVI committee proposals adopted in today’s vote do allow for a slightly larger quota during the period 2027-2029 than the original European Commission proposals, but require a much steeper quota reduction in latter years, ending with complete phase out in 2050. 

Stationary split air conditioning and split heat pump equipment containing HFC/HFOs have gained a stay of execution until 1 January 2028 but the expiration date for plug-in room, monobloc and other self-contained air conditioning and heat pump equipment using these fluorinated gases remains at 1 January 2026. 

The European Parliament also voted to include bans on the use of F-gases in other sectors, such as chillers, foams, transport refrigeration and technical aerosols. It further adopted measures to address illegal HFC trade, require mandatory producer extended responsibility and raise the quota price to €5, with periodic increases over time to match the phase-down steps.

The revision proposals will now be referred back to the environment committee, and then the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union must agree on a final text together before the review of the F-Gas Regulation is adopted. 

More details and comment to follow.

Related stories:

Timmermans calls for F-gas backing – 29 March 2023
EUROPE: European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans has pleaded with MEPs not to chain themselves to the past and to back the F-gas revision proposals in tomorrow’s European parliamentary vote. Read more…

F-gas amendments flood in as MEPs prepare to vote – 28 March 2023
EUROPE: As the European Parliament prepares to vote on revisions to the F-gas regulations, dozens of new last-minute amendments have been tabled by MEPs. Read more…

Industry offers counter F-gas proposals – 22 March 2023
EUROPE: Leading groups representing the HVAC, refrigeration and foam insulation sectors are calling on the European Parliament to take a practical approach in the upcoming vote on the F-gas revision. Read more…

Scientists back propane in heat pumps – 18 March 2023
SWEDEN: More than 40 scientists from across Europe have signed a position statement backing what they say is the proven superior efficiencies of hydrocarbon refrigerants in heat pumps. Read more…

German groups warn of refrigeration “extinction” – 9 March 2023
GERMANY: Industry groups are pleading with their members and their customers to urgently draw the attention of politicians to the “major problems” posed by the F-gas revision and PFAS proposals. Read more…

F-gas concessions fail to pacify manufacturers – 2 March 2023
EUROPE: The European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) has relaxed some of the equipment bans proposed in the EC’s F-gas revision but not enough to dispel industry concerns. Read more…

“Pause for thought,” says EPEE – 1 March 2023
BELGIUM: EPEE has urged the European Parliament to pause for thought before pressing ahead with the F-gas bans voted for by its environment committee. Read more…

Enviro committee backs “ambitious” F-gas revision – 1 March 2023
EUROPE: The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has today agreed to an “ambitious” revision of the F-gas regulation (517/2014) despite industry concerns that the proposals are unrealistic and jeopardise climate targets. Read more…

Euro vote a major setback for heat pumps – 1 March 2023
BELGIUM: The European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) has described today’s F-gas vote as a major setback for heat pumps in Europe. Read more…

EIA applauds positive F-gas vote – 1 March 2023
UK: Green group the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has applauded the “urgently needed” F-gas bans voted on today by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI). Read more…

Euro industry calls for “realistic” F-gas vote – 27 February 2023
EUROPE: Twelve leading associations and groups active in the European HVACR market have called on the European Parliament’s environment committee to reject amendments which would ban F-gases. Read more…

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